Braeden stared as blood began to seep through
the man’s robes.
“Please don’t hurt me! I didn’t want to be part
of Virtue! Please don’t kill me like you killed father!”
Sienna assumed that Braeden meant ‘father’ as
in the term for a priest. But Keir grasped the meaning of the word.
“He was your father.”
It was more of a statement then a question.
Keir’s grip on the gun loosened.
“Tell me everything he did. Sienna, I think
maybe you should fill in Desiree’s grave. You too, James. I want to talk to
Keir said gently.
Braeden started his tale in a sorrowful,
“When I turned twelve I started to doubt my
religion. It seemed strange, even scary. It began to torture me until I would
wake up screaming at night…”
Braeden paused, closing his eyes. Tears seeped
from underneath his eyelids. But he continued with his tale.
“I wanted to talk to father about it, him being
a priest and all-“
“If he was a priest then he couldn’t get
married, so how-“
“I’m getting to that bit.”
“When I told father that I didn’t believe in
the faith, he was furious. He tied me to a roasting hot radiator and left me
there all night. Every time I screamed he would come over to me and cut my
burnt back. Permanent scars. Twelve of them. Father had three wives, all
married illegally to him. But he killed my mother when she tried to protect me
from his abuse. He killed her as a sacrifice, just like all the other people in
those graves. Everyone in those graves has done something considered evil. When
I was born, I was named Braeden because I apparently look like a child of
Satan. Braeden means ‘of the dark valley.’ My father became convinced that my
mother must be sent from Satan. He abused both of us. Then, when I broached the
subject of my beliefs, he took me to this ‘graveyard’ to see what happened to
people who didn’t believe in god. He takes me here with his victims every time
he went from that day on. It’s so horrible!”
Braeden had learnt young that crying didn’t get
you anywhere but a lifetime of uncried tears, unexpressed shock and disgust
were surfacing today.
“That girl your father just killed, Desiree,
did your father say anything about her?”
Keir called Sienna over before Braeden spoke.
“He was saying how he knew she’d taken the
school bible from her school. He wanted to lure her into a false sense of
security. So he positioned teachers at the school to listen closely to her
conversations with friends, try and follow her to places after school, find out
who she was hanging around with. He wanted to find kill another girl as well,
Sienna, who you must be.”
Braeden told them, nodding at Sienna.
“They found out about a bible-burning. But when
they looked for Sienna the next day, she was gone.”
Braeden finished his story, feeling a sense of
releif. He’d finally told someone about his childhood of abuse.
Sienna felt like the puzzle in her head had
been solved. Desiree had found out that she was grave number 666 and let her
know in case she came by the graves and guessed their use. She had sent her
away to escape a horrible death.
Desiree’s life had ended as she became a
sacrifice to a god she didn’t even believe in, a more severe indignity couldn’t